The Champagne Bureau ‘2016 Champagne Tasting London’
10th March 2016
For anyone who loves wine, especially the glorious world of Champagne, then the Champagne Bureau’s ‘Annual Champagne Tasting Event’ is what would be described by many as a dream occasion either as a wine professional or if you’ve been lucky enough to get in as a consumer from a very good friend that you know. It is a tasting event like but just a few others, a date in the diary that all appointments have to fit round, a place that you’ll spot many of the top industry faces surrounded by such names as Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger and Perrier-Jouët.
The wonderful location of One Great George Street, Westminster is the location for the tasting, a building which saw the 1945 signing of the charter establishing UNESCO. Entering the tasting room is no doubt the same anticipation felt when the lucky golden ticket holders entered Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory as your eyes set upon the countless bottles of Champagne to taste.
On a professional level it is a wonderful tasting to get some great notes from a fine selection of established houses and grower labels, non-vintage and vintage labels via both stands for each label and free pouring locations.
You will bump in to many well known and respected names such as Oz Clarke, Jilly Goolden, Essi Avellan, Michel Drappier, Neil Phillips, Simon Stockton (Champagne Ambassador UK) and many more whilst enjoying the wonderful tastes each Champagne offers. Many labels will be well known and others will be a whole new experience, Sommeliers, bar owners, Hoteliers, wine writers and critics, TV celebrities and more grab their chance to speak with each label’s representatives, wine makers, label owners and wine merchants who hope to get that all new important ‘lead’.
A few exhibitors did share that the attendance seemed to be heavily populated by PR and Press over potential buyers, but many labels had picked up a few leads which equates to them as a successful tasting event.
Thanks to the Champagne Bureau, I was able to interview Thibaut Le Mailloux (Communication Director) of ‘Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne‘ and was able to put to him some interesting questions which obtained his deep and thoughtful answers (we will feature this interview in issue 12 of the Glass of Bubbly magazine). I really enjoyed his choice of words to describe the importance of protection the name of Champagne, “we need to continue to nourish the good image of Champagne” being one of my favourites.
Which Champagne stood out? So very hard to answer and as we all know, taste is personal and what one will find amazing someone else may see as plain, but I did note those that were from Charles Doyard.
I tend to always be attracted to marketing and design so this is what I focus on when I study the wines, yes what is inside the bottle is no doubt so very important, but what attracts you before that should also be highlighted and I was particularly attracted to some refreshing looking bottles and labels, René Jolly always impresses me and so did Beaumont des Crayères 60 Years Limited Edition.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.